Even with a comprehensive sustainability report and well-defined strategy, taking meaningful action against climate change depends on something Kinnarps never take for granted - the commitment of our customers. The defining project carried out in cooperation with Danish logistics giant DSV represents a milestone in terms of how Kinnarps apply renewability as an alternative to replacement. It also proves that with partners who share the ideals and passion for environmental innovation, everyone wins.
“We’d been in our old premises for 20 years and the move represented a chance to do something special in the new space. We had a clear vision of creating a true headquarters for DSV USA, characterised by light colours, an airy, open feeling and true to our roots, a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic.”
415 existing Series P tables received new table tops, exchanging from beech color to a more updated look with white laminate.
248 existing Plus chairs received new seats cushion and backs giving the appearance of a whole new chair and bringing the color in line with the rest of the new office.
At this point, it’s often the case that plans are made for the purchase of completely new office furniture. DSV, however, had something else in mind. The company were a long-term partner of Kinnarps and they had invested in new furniture only 6 years previously.
The furniture is characterised by high quality and even after years of usage, replacing worn parts rather than simply buying new furniture is a viable and cost-effective option. From a sustainability and financial perspective, DSV were keen to explore this possibility. So, with confidence already established from a long-standing relationship, David Auer, Senior Key Account Manager at Kinnarps USA, set to work devising a solution that would meet DSV’s demands.
“The brief from DSV was clear - they wanted their new premises to reflect a transition to a cleaner, more contemporary aesthetic while at the same time, sustainability and cost-efficiency were a priority. To achieve this, we proposed a move from larger to smaller desks and to achieve our ambition for renewal rather than replacement, the beech-coloured desktops would be exchanged for fresh, white replacements - a total of over four hundred desks. The same exchange from beech to white would also be applied to several hundred cabinet fronts and rolling pedestals.”
To some, taking the decision to renew existing furniture rather than replace with new could be considered unconventional. Did Rasmus have any reservations? “Apart from keeping operations running while the transition and furniture renewal process took place, we had no reservations whatsoever. Our relationship with Kinnarps goes back a long way and this gave us the peace of mind we needed to trust in their judgement and ability to deliver.”
Over a period of only a few weeks, the process of renewing all the desktops, pedestals and cabinets was carried out. On completion, the positive results of the renewal work expressed themselves in several ways. David continues: “The economic savings of renewal are significant. Around 80% when compared with the cost of replacing old with new. There’s also the waste aspect to consider. From an environmental perspective, replacing part of an item of furniture has a considerably smaller impact than sending the whole item to the landfill. And last but definitely not least, DSV’s new premises got the aesthetic lift they were looking for and everyone in the company can enjoy the boost that comes from working in a vibrant and attractive environment.”
The Monroe chairs were converted from blue to gray upholstery, using existing base and arms.
As DSV USA settle into their new premises, Rasmus Haaning reflects on the impression the renewal project has already made:
“The most pleasing aspect of the project for us was the creation of an interior that feels like a ‘whole’ rather than separate, distinct elements. The workstations are characterised by lighter colours and a clean look that really reflects our corporate values and Scandinavian origins. For me, the kitchen and communal dining area is a particular favourite space. From its polished concrete floors to the renewed furniture and fittings, it’s already become a place where it’s obvious our staff feel very comfortable and at home. The fact we achieved all this through renewal and a cost-effective, sustainable solution is something everyone involved can be proud of.”
Over 50 existing cabinets were updated from beech to white fronts.
In Kinnarps sustainability report we detail our commitment to introducing an increasing number of eco-labelled products and developing interior design solutions as part of a circular flow. Our strategy also compels us to use more recycled material when designing and creating new furniture and solutions. Looking towards the future, projects like this also highlight the defining role renewal will play in our sustainability strategy.
“Environmental innovation demands that we think outside the box whenever the opportunity arises. This particular example clearly shows that ‘new for old’ isn’t always the optimal solution. If we want to deliver tangible benefits for people, the planet and our customers’ profits, this project tells us that it’s our responsibility to stay curious and explore other options.”